(+61) 451 886 226

HOWZIT!

Sometimes inspiration for this blog comes from the most unlikely of places. Last Friday night my husband and I were talking about the joy of understanding colloquial language. I had just finished a coaching session via Skype to a Client in South Africa, and the Client mentioned that if he didn’t do the self-awareness work that was staring him in the face, that the ‘tokoloshe’ would still be ‘under the bed’. OMG, how to explain that to non South-Africans … basically it means that the fear / danger would still be present. My insight when recounting the story was that if I had not understood the colloquialism, it would have taken quite a bit of explanation on my Client’s part to explain the concept. And our rapport and shared experience would have been lost. I would have been ‘different’ to him, having ‘not got’ what he was saying.

And so my husband proceeded to tell me a great story about his arrival in Singapore. For those of you who have not had the pleasure of meeting James, let me just say that he is not known for his introverted nature. The man is loud ! And as is his way, he greets people effusively with a big smile in the morning. But when he started work at Ogilvy Singapore, no-one greeted him back. He initially figured that people were a bit more conservative than his Saffa counterparts, until one day he said ‘good morning’ to someone – and was greeted with a big smile and a ‘good morning James’ in return. And then the penny dropped …. Our custom is to say ‘howzit’ when we greet someone, irrespective of the time of day. It means ‘hi, how are you, I hope you have / or have had a good day, what’s up?’. But if no-one understands your colloquialism, you’re not communicating.

And that is why multi-cultural awareness is so important. I’ve just read a report by Korn/Ferry stating that one way for leaders to broaden their skills base is to work overseas. Last year, The Journal of NeuroLeadership published research on how the culturally intelligent brain not only detects – but can bridge cultural differences. And with the world becoming smaller – and business challenges more complex, I think it is critical not only for leaders, but for all global citizens to understand how to operate effectively in a globalized world.

I see it on a daily basis in my practice, as I coach leaders who are French, British, American, Swiss, Australian – and how one of their primary challenges when coming to Asia is not only understanding the Asian context and environment, but that of the myriad nationalities who live and work in Singapore. My guess is that it would be no different in New York, London or Abuja.

I hear it in my children’s voices when they easily say hello in Mandarin, French, Zulu, English or Japanese. Even if they don’t know what to say after ‘hello’, they are immersed, without knowing it, in a polyglot of cultural differences – and my wish is that they assimilate an intuitive understanding of all of them. My wish is that it makes them better global citizens, and that the lesson of multi-cultural acceptance and understanding that was born in South Africa, continues and serves them in whatever journeys they take.

This exposure to difference – different culture, different values, different food, different languages – this difference make us all so much more. There IS strength in diversity, in flexibility and in being comfortable with the new.

And life of course is so serendipitous – today I saw the great pic that ends off this post on Feel Good Lifestyle’s facebook page. Not all of us can experience working and studying abroad; not all of us want that experience. But we can all travel. If not you – encourage your children to.

And if you ever meet me and I say ‘howzit’, know that I’m simply saying ‘hello & I care about you’ in another language.

Share Button

WHY ALL THE FUSS?

You know how when you’re not in an industry it can be bemusing, sometimes even ridiculous how people go on about what they do and why it’s so important / fascinating / special ???

Well, why the fuss around Leadership ? What’s so special about Leaders ?

Surely they’ve got to the top, they get paid a fortune – do they really need any more attention ?

Well, actually – yes, they do. Because the more effective your leaders are, the more successful your organization is going to be.

So, I hear you say, I am an entrepreneur …. Yeah, well …the more effective your leadership skills, the more successful your business is going to be.  I am a manager – let’s say it again ….. the more effective your leadership skills are, the more successful your team is going to be. ¹

So, for me, this is a fuss worth getting.

If you’re really serious about being successful (however you define that is up to you), then look at your leadership skills. Skills like relating to others – your interpersonal skills. Do you get on with people ?  Do you develop them ? Just because you are a technical expert, doesn’t mean you are a people expert .

Are you self-aware ? Or are you oblivious to your strengths and your shortcomings ? Do you have a healthy understanding of the system in which you operate, the big picture and the causes – not just the symptoms of the challenges you face? Do you collaborate – or compete ?

Most importantly, are you Authentic ?

One of the leadership effectiveness skills most highly correlated with business performance is … not ambition, not control, not perfection … but Authenticity. ²

When you know who you are and you know what you stand for, you demonstrate integrity. You walk your talk, you can be trusted to do what you say. You’re willing to take a stand, have the tough conversation, not duck the issues. Why ? Because you know what matters to you. And a leader without an internal compass has no hope of setting a direction or vision for his or her team. And whether it be crystal clear, or smudgy and blurred, your results will be a direct reflection of your vision.

So in whichever context you lead … as a manager, as a manager of managers, as an Executive, as a parent – start by leading yourself. Start by aligning who you are with what you do and say – and then humbly give gratitude for the success that comes your way.

(If you’d like to know more, and are curious as to how developed your Leadership skills and competencies are, as well as gain insight into your habits and behaviour patterns, drop me a line – I’ve got a phenomenal process to share with you)

¹ http://www.theleadershipcircle.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/12_OrgPerformance.pdf

² Figure 3. http://www.theleadershipcircle.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/13_TLC_profile.pdf

Share Button

DREAM BIG. THINK SMART

I love synchronicity. And yesterday a few of my worlds collided when I received a mail from a client (and friend) around Seth Godin’s education manifesto. I love Seth Godin. I wish I had written Linchpin. I’ve recommended it to so many Clients. And now I’m going to recommend that you download and read his education manifesto @ www.stopstealingdreams.com

But first, read on and find out why I care so much ….

You see, education and coaching are pretty similar. They both involve potential. And they both involve dreams. Dreams that ignite passion, which result in skills and knowledge. Not dis-empowering, unrealistic pipe dreams, or belittling,  shameful, settling for second best dreams, but dreams that are based on possibility, opportunity, self reliance, self worth – bold dreams where the person has to push themselves to create a new reality.

3 years ago I was invited by my children’s then headmaster to give a talk on self-actualization for children. My presentation was based around the premise contained in one of Dr. Seuss’ less well known books, Diffendoofer Day. The story involves a school where the teachers make up their own rules and teach ‘stuff not taught at other schools’. One day the children have to take an impromptu, external test which could result in the closure of their beloved school if they fail.

As the story tells it :

Miss Bonkers rose “Don’t fret” she said 

‘You’ve learned the things you need

To pass that test and many more –

I’m certain you’ll succeed.

 

We’ve taught you that the earth is round

That red and white make pink,

And something else that matters more –

We’ve taught you how to think !!!

The feedback I got from this talk was interesting. In particular, one of the teachers likened it to a Psych lecture. I think she missed the point … the point was about instilling a love of learning and thinking in our children to create independent, aware, actualized, creative thinkers as opposed to obedient, rote, humanized machines.  How many schools and teachers are still missing the point ? Education is not about testing facts or pushing data, systems and processes down children’s throats – it’s about teaching higher order, creative thinking.

Why do we want to do that? So that our workforce becomes creative, engaged, innovative, solutions-focused and independent. So that we can create industries that never existed 10 years ago. So that we can self-actualize and fulfill our potential. So that we can help grow our economies. So that we can give back. So that we have the worth to dream boldy and the confidence to turn our dreams into a new reality.

Facts are facts – anyone can find facts in what is being called the ‘connection revolution’. Do we really need to spend our childhood memorizing them when we can access any fact in 0.1 seconds ? Facts are no longer a valuable currency. People like me and countless other business owners give away facts, information and literature for free. Why? Because facts on their own mean nothing. It is the interrelation, pattern detection, understanding, synthesis and innovative thinking that come from wrestling with the facts that is valuable

I am currently coaching an amazing young woman who is studying for a law degree. Yesterday she shared with me that knowing the facts was ‘not enough’. She admitted that being able to supply the required data would get her to pass – but in order to excel, to do really well, she realized that she has to interpret the facts, use them to find solutions to problems and create new thinking.

At the same time, I have been working with my children this week on the skill of essay writing. They are going to Vietnam on school camp in a couple of weeks and were required to write an essay on how Communism has shaped the identity of the Vietnamese (This, at 13 years of age – gotta love the IB programme !). And as I worked with them, I repeated one phrase over and over. “So what ?” I wanted to know what those facts meant, why they were relevant, and what new thinking they could result in. That’s called Learning.

So what does all this have to do with coaching – leadership coaching in particular ?

One of the key dimensions of leadership is being a visionary. It’s about going where no-one has gone before. Call it intelligent dreaming. It’s about seeing a new future and having the strength to take others there. Leadership is about many things, but without creativity, innovation and original thought, you’ll always be a follower. Waiting to be told what to do, rather than figuring out new things to do and new ways of doing them.

So if you’re tired of being told what to do, how to do it, and following the same process to ‘do it right each time’, maybe it’s time you started thinking.

And read the manifesto. If not yours, it could change a child’s future.

Share Button

RELOCATION 102

Whilst this blog is generally about insights and reflections gained from my coaching practice, I occasionally post something of a personal nature and share my lessons with you. In February of this year I wrote about how the process of relocation felt. And today, it felt like the right time for an update. If that was my Semester One report, then read on for Semester Two’s progress.

One of the things I love about living in Singapore is the multi-culturalism and absolute acceptance and celebration of different religions. So far this year, we have celebrated Chinese New Year, Easter, Buddha’s Birthday (Vesak), Hari Raya Puasa (the Muslim festival marking the end of Ramadan), and today is the Hindu Festival of Diwali (Deepavali). The festival gets its name from the lights that are lit during the Festival which symbolize the inner light that protects us from spiritual darkness. It is also a time where Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth, bestows blessings and abundance on her faithful.

So with light all around us at the moment, I got to thinking and reflecting on the last 8 months. If you are a regular reader of my blog, you’ll be familiar with the term ‘meta-program’. When I am coaching, one of the first things I do is check the person’s motivation for change – because the function of a coach is to facilitate change. No desire for change = no coaching. And the desire or motivation to change is either away from what we don’t want, or towards what we do want.

And I think it’s fair to say that for the last 8 months my motivation has been one of ‘away from’. And this thinking pattern has kept me away from the light. It has been a time of trying to come to terms with all that is new – a new country, a new place to live, new cultures, new ways of doing business, new friends, a new school, new sports groups …

Some of the newness has been easy to embrace, but some aspects have been particularly difficult. It’s great making new friends and being welcomed into a social circle – it’s hard when those whom you love drift away because of geographical excuses. It’s exciting starting a new business, but so frustrating to realise that it’s about starting all over again. It’s amazing living in the land of efficiency, but sad to witness the effects of superficiality, transient relationships and conspicuous consumerism.

Whilst I could go on about how it feels to keep looking at what you don’t, I am instead going to share a core insight that has crept into my awareness over the last couple of days. And that is that the spiritual me has become a shadow of who it was. I seem to have lost touch with my depth, peace and calm. I’m finding it hard to meditate. My energy and health have been unsettled. I realise now how important solidity, stability, a sense of community and deep roots are to me. And that one day, somewhere, I will recreate the external stuff. The first step is to realise that focusing on the ‘but’, the ‘away from’, and the ‘difference’ has taken me away from my internal roots.

One of my closest friends who relocated to Australia keeps reminding me that the difference is the motivation, and that moving literally means that it cannot be the same. But it’s a bit like having a baby. I didn’t really understand it until I went through it.

So with that awareness now on paper, what I ask for today on this Festival of Lights is for the mental strength to cultivate a deep sense of inner peace, acceptance of what is – and the discipline to cultivate living in the present. And to look forward instead of back. I also ask for enormous patience to keep putting one small step in front at a time, not worrying about the outcome, but knowing that I am doing all I can to move forward. To celebrate each victory.

So what do I have to look forward to?

I have some great potential work projects and associations in the pipeline for next year. I am thinking of starting another division with LEAD (my coaching practice), called Leading Ladies – focussing on Leadership skills and empowerment for women. And to run a few public workshops for women who have wings they have not yet discovered.

In 10 days time, my husband and I will celebrate our 15th wedding anniversary in Pangkor Laut – a bucket list item for a long time. And in 6 weeks time, we will be winging our way home to celebrate the holidays with our beloved friends and family.

Travel to Vietnam and Cambodia with my amazing family are on the list for next year, as well as a little trip to Australia with a new friend (and to see an old friend).

I intend doing my PCC certification (an International Coach Federation accreditation), and bring Meta-Coach training to Singapore during 2012.

But mostly, I am looking forward to turning the corner and being at peace. Yes, there are lots of special people and communities that I miss. But it’s time to look forward – time to move towards what I want to create. I’m off to go light my flame again.

Share Button

BEING – A LESSON IN SELF WORTH

I am currently coaching an amazing entrepreneur. She is successful, accomplished, organised and focussed and is on her way to building a great business. She knows her strengths, passions and skill set.  Yet she takes on more than she can handle, constantly goes out of her way to do things for others and ends up feeling overwhelmed.

Why ? Because she wants to feel needed, valuable and recognised.

If this is striking a familiar chord, you may want to know what we uncovered and how you too can change your pattern. Read on …

Many of us learn through the course of our lives that our focus ‘should’ be on performance and achievement. We are told to achieve good marks at school, that university results are critical, that we must strive for a promotion. That climbing the ladder of success is critical. And in turn, we pass this perspective on life onto our kids.

Maybe you’re thinking – “ok, so what’s the problem, success is good … or …. “Well, I want my kids to be winners, what’s so wrong with that?”

Well, there’s no problem with winning, with being successful. It’s our birthright. Self-actualisation (being the best you can be) is the whole point of the journey we call life. But if your focus is on what you do (achieve) rather than who you are, you may just spend your entire life trying to prove that you are ‘good enough’.  See, if your focus is on doing, performing and achieving – then in order to feel good about yourself you need to do more, achieve more; work harder, longer, faster.

What if we turned that equation around, and started with the premise that you are not only good enough, you are amazing. Your Being (who you really, truly are deep down inside) is miraculous, magical and unique. And if you stop to look at yourself, you know that too. Your Being is perfect. We call this unconditional positive regard. Unconditional worth.

Now your Doing (your behaviour, your skill set, your knowledge) … well sometimes that’s not so good. and so at times you may not feel confident in what you do. That’s ok. All it takes to improve a skill or a role is learning and practice. And every master started off as an eager beginner. The key here is to recognise that it’s simply an external skill, not the internal you.

The following diagram describes this relationship …

When you operate from your Being, and think of yourself as worthy and valuable, your doing will reflect that. There will be no need to prove that ‘you are good enough / knowledgeable enough / valuable enough’.

And you no longer need to DO things to prove your value, or to get validation from others.. You simply recognise your worth and value as a given. It’s all right there within you.

Share Button

READY TO CHANGE YOUR MIND?

How much thought do you give to the way you think ?  Have you always thought the same way, or has your thinking changed as you have changed ?

I coach a large number of leaders; a lot of them are what I call ‘new’ leaders : people who are new to a leadership position, new to a business, new to a country, or new to a department within an existing organisation.

They often come to coaching with some fear. They’re not 100% confident in their skills, they know they need to cement vital relationships quickly, they need to achieve some ‘quick wins’ and vitally, they may not yet have learnt the difference between the skill sets of managing and leading.

Which brings me back to thinking about the way we think …

You see leaders and managers need different thinking styles. Now, neither role is ‘better’, and both roles can be successfully coached, but managers tend to need meaning-based coaching which results in optimal performance (because the role is about the ‘doing’) and leaders perform at their peak when they experience transformational coaching. Because a lot of leadership is about Being.

And when leaders are being genuine, creative, collaborative, fair, and congruent, there is every possibility that people will follow them.

What distinguishes a leader from a manager is the ability to envision a new future and empower those around them to turn it into reality. I worked for a boss like that over 15 years ago. She empowered an entire team of women to believe in themselves and their ability, and rewarded us handsomely when we lived up to her expectations. She did her job so well that we ran her company for her. She set the vision, communicated it to us. And we did the rest. She empowered us so well that she was my last boss. Brava !

 

Leadership is the ability to do big picture thinking. It’s necessary to be able to delve into the detail when you are managing a project, but when you need to conceive a project, the skill you need is vision and creativity. Leaders break new ground because they have developed the ability to think globally; to go places no one has been before. They do not follow established procedures but look for new ways of doing things. Visionaries ‘envision’ a different way. That’s an important word for leaders – difference. It’s about looking for the gaps, not the similarities that will give them a competitive advantage.

Great leaders have developed the skill of reflection. They do not necessarily plunge straight into action but will think about the challenge, trying on different angles, different solutions until they know which way they want to proceed.

 

And they’re ok to be wrong. They listen to their inner voice and trust it because they trust themselves. If they are wrong, they use the feedback to correct the course. – without taking it personally. They do not need permission or buy-in from anyone to know what is right for them. Leaders understand that there is only one way of winning, and that is to control their own mind and the way they think and act. They know that they certainly cannot control anyone or anything else.

So what does all of this have to do with coaching ? Simple. A great coach can help you develop flexibility of thought. He or she can help you change the way you think.

I recently coached a senior executive who believed she had to prove her worth by constantly being busy, running (yes running !) around the office, and generally growing impatient with those that weren’t ‘up to her speed’. Empowering ? Absolutely not. She was initially given feedback that she was ‘tough’ which she took as a compliment, but in effect she was scared. So scared that she did more and more and made her staff feel like what they did counted less and less. Through coaching she realized that her job was no longer ‘to do the technical work’, but to BE a leader. The result is a calm, more productive team who feel like their leader is on their side and no longer in competition with them, but is there to support them.

And in turn, she has the breathing space to reflect, relook, envision, strategise and empower. And as a result, revenue is up 30% this quarter. Not bad in these times, and all because she decided to change her mind.

Let me know when YOU are ready – janine.daniels@lead.com.co

Share Button

OPENING UP TO MORE

We’ve just got back from a magical holiday in Bali. And on Saturday as I lay in the sun watching the kites flying high in Bali’s big blue sky, I started thinking …

But first, let me tell you about the kites. The Balinese are known for their kite-making and flying, and even hold a kite flying festival. These kites are magnificent – think elaborate ships, colourful butterflies and exotic birds up to 30 square metres in size. And they fly really high – to the point where they are potentially dangerous to air traffic.

Anyhow, as I was watching these kites, it struck me that they are a perfect metaphor for Bali – highly spiritual, yet fun and playful too. For those of you who have never been to Bali (and forgive me if you know it well), it is an extraordinary place. The Balinese practice Hinduism and you literally cannot walk down the road without seeing a shrine, or stepping over an offering or smelling incense. There are even offerings placed on the beach. Restaurant and villa staff stop what they are doing at specific times of the day to make offerings. Yet – as you walk down the tiny higgledy-piggledy roads, stepping over offerings and pointing out temples and shrines, people spill out of bars and restaurants onto the pavements, the music pumps and the place literally rocks. It’s both a spiritual and a party place – and for those of you who know me well, you know that’s just my kinda place to be.

So Bali and the metaphor of a kite, are for me, a beautiful example of ‘both-and’ thinking and it is a thinking pattern that can open up your world.

How so ?

Well, rather than limit thinking to ‘either this or that’, thinking along a continuum opens up the possibility of ‘both this and that’. By polarising the world into good: bad / right: wrong, all the choices in the middle disappear – and so do all the options.  This way of thinking often results in people believing their own stuff and closing their minds to learning new ways of being, new theories or listening to another way.

It closes down the opportunity for learning and development. It shuts off your growth. Continuing my example of Bali – tourists could be attracted by either the spirituality, or the fun. By employing continuum thinking, the island manages to attract visitors from both groups, thereby exponentially increasing tourism, revenue, job opportunities and the potential for economic growth.

Now, lets apply that to you – imagine you would like to double, maybe triple your opportunities. Imagine being highly successful and having ample down time, or giving a completely focussed presentation whilst being relaxed. Imagine a world of leaders who are respected and loved. Managers who are technical specialists and who trust enough to delegate. Small business owners who play safe yet believe in themselves enough to take calculated risks. Wouldn’t you love to be a student studying, playing sport, partying and travelling. Why not ? Why not have more ? Why not be more ?

Of course, continuum thinking is not appropriate thinking for life or death decision making, or in situations when a quick response is necessary, but if you are passionate about becoming more, this may be something you’d like to work on.

How do you know if you need to stretch yourself a bit in this area ? Well, have you ever caught yourself thinking “but that’s not the way it is done”, or “the rules say” or “you can’t have it all”. If so, maybe you’d like to consider that there is always another option. Life is not black and white, there are beautiful colours waiting to be explored. Give yourself permission to look for them and experience the most life has to offer.

Share Button

SHIFT HAPPENS

The work I do is about change. I help facilitate internal change for people and then watch with delight as their external world changes. People who work with me want to change. And I personally embrace change as it leads to my growth and development. So I’ve often pondered the process of change.  Does it happen slowly – or in a heartbeat ?

My personal view is that it’s a combination of the two.

A couple of weeks ago two things happened to make me sit up and take notice. As I was parking my car for my first appointment of the day, I became aware of a woman whose (very new, very big) car was parked next to mine. She watched me reverse-park like a hawk (no front-first parking in Singapore), and my immediate thought was that she was so concerned I might scratch her car that she stood there protecting her precious property. Imagine my shock when she actually came over to me, did the ‘wind-the-window-down’ motion, and apologised profusely for parking so badly – and then offered to re-park her car as she had inconvenienced me. Excuse me ????

Later that same day … One of my boys was at soccer practice, and my other son had suggested we go for a walk in the Botanic Gardens. After our walk, we sat down to chat, and were deep in conversation when I heard footsteps approaching. Now, if you’ve lived in South Africa all your life, you know about listening with all your senses. And if you’re a mum, you protect with all your senses too. So, for the second time that day, I readied myself to do battle. And as I turned to see who was clearly watching us, an old man wearing a straw sunhat, smiled out from one of the kindest faces I’ve ever seen (clearly quite moved at the mother-son tableau he had witnessed), nodded his head at me – and walked on.

Message hit home. Yip. Time to revise that old frame of aggression.  Got it.

And I see this process happen in my work on a weekly basis. Clients who have been grappling for weeks with roadblocks, sabotage patterns or limiting beliefs do the hard work; they are aware, reflect, and look for patterns – and then boom – they get it.

Change may occur in a flash, but the process leading to it often takes some time, usually time that we’re not aware of. But it is in that instant when recognition comes, that we have the choice to move on and grow, or stay locked in a cycle of repetition. It is in that moment that we have the choice, and the chance to change our world.

Share Button

THE LEADERSHIP GAP

During the 4 months we have lived in Asia, I have had ample opportunity to look, listen and learn from a new culture (ok, this is Singapore, so new cultures would probably be more appropriate). And as a Leadership coach, a lot of what I look at is the quality of leadership I see, hear and experience. And of course I compare it (looking for both difference AND similarity) to my experience working with highly successful people and organisations in South Africa.

So, what have I noticed …?

There are no doubt many differences, ranging from a non-compliant (how can I do things differently) outlook in SA versus a compliant (follow the rules at all cost) mindstate in Singapore, to a culture in Singapore that is extremely courteous, polite and harmonious as opposed to my beloved country’s passion and fire.  From a business perspective, one of the most interesting observations is how the Leadership Gaps differ.

I am well aware that what I am about to say is based on my personal experience, which may  be biased and generalised, and I would be delighted to hear contrary views or read some research on the issue, however here’s what I see …

Generally speaking, it appears that International / Global Organisations focus on talent. Heavy emphasis is placed on hiring people who have external evidence of their technical skills. I have seen little evidence to date of organisations’ developing their talent’s inner leadership game. The focus appears to be keeping the talent gap filled, and as a result an Inner Leadership Gap is exposed.

Conversely, locally based / home grown organisations appear to have a higher awareness of developing the inner game. Unlike their global counterparts, their Leadership Gap is often external – there are bigger gaps in their talent pipeline and external hiring is often the norm.

So, how does this affect you?

Well, we are all leaders. Yip. Every single one of us.

Whether you are the CEO of a multinational organisation who is acutely aware of developing talent, or a homemaker raising the next generation of family and community leaders or a solopreneur who needs to focus on inner leadership skills to create a bigger business, we all have gaps in our leadership profile.

So, as you read this article – ask yourself where your gaps are.

Are your gaps internal – do you have the ability and belief in yourself; do you have the drive and desire to lead? Do people follow you? Are you genuine and sincere? Do you have a solid sense of values and beliefs? Do you listen to your internal voice of authority?

Or are your gaps external – do you have the ability to envision and to motivate people?  Can you serve interests bigger than your own? Or does self preservation feature highly in your life? Will you sacrifice for the greater good?  Can you make the tough decisions and tell people the truth?  Do you innovate, and actively look for new opportunities?

As you discover where your gaps, be thankful for them – and then work on them to become more. If each of us improved the way we lead ourselves (and others), think what a difference we could make to our world.

Share Button

RELOCATION 101 – LESSONS SO FAR…

The last 5 months of my life have been hell. Sheer, unadulterated, out of control, control-freak, anal-person hell. They’ve also been the reason I haven’t posted a blog for so long.

So, this is what happened … 2010 was a year of reaping rewards. My coaching practice had grown to a large enough size to be challenging time-wise, my husband James’ work was going along swimmingly, and our sons were in a phenomenal school. Like us they had awesome friends, they were active; busy with sport and social activities  …. And then the universe remembered us saying at some stage in the past, that ‘… we’d like an adventure …’

So in September 2010 we got back from a breathtakingly beautiful and peaceful barging holiday in France only for my husband to receive an invitation to look at a potential job offer in Singapore. He resigned in October. We sold our house in November. We moved to Singapore in the first week of January. The boys have been at school for 3 weeks. No blog ???  Hell no bloody time to take a breath !!!

Ok, so the objective of this blog has never been to tell my life story, but is, from a coach’s perspective, to reflect on lessons I witness and observe. So what have I learnt through this process ?

  • I’ve learnt personally, and observed objectively, that no matter how sorted you think you are, there are times you are going to need help. Ask for it.
  • People have opened their arms and homes to us, welcomed us in and helped us become part of a social structure – we’ve learnt to embrace that and be so grateful for it. I wonder how often that could have happened at ‘home’ but we never saw it because we had an established network and support group. Our eyes have become open to hands of friendship.
  • If we hadn’t all learnt this one already – here’s a repeat (and one that I’m currently battling with).  Trying to control it all makes you ill !!
  • You will get what you set your mind to if it’s really meaningful and important to you. (We’re not talking half-baked flights of fancy here). If it’s really important, you will respond to those opportunities that make your dreams your new reality.
  • Finally, and for me this is the over-riding observation because it relates to our thinking patterns.  Your experience is shaped by your filters – see the good in people, the situation or the experience – and that’s how it will be for you. Look for the negative, how it’s (bad) different, how it’s not the same. And you’ll end up yearning.

So am I yearning ?

No.

Am I missing my parents and treasured friends?  OMG.  More than words can say. But we speak regularly and I know it’s only a matter of time before we hold each other again.

But are we having an adventure?  You betcha, and it’s only just begun ….

Share Button